Hunger Free Communities Summit 2014: Addressing the Cross-Generational Issue of Hunger

February 1, 2014

JK Granberg-Michaelson, Hunger Free Communities Coordinator, Alliance to End Hunger

Xuya Fang and Marie Vincent, of NYC Coalition Against Hunger, participate in a group discussion following a panel at the 2013 HFC Summit (Amanda Lucidon/LucidPix)

The Hunger Free Communities (HFC) Initiative is the Alliance to End Hunger’s domestic program aimed at helping to end hunger in local communities nationwide by supporting the work of community-based coalitions. The initiative is premised on the understanding that ending hunger in America requires the involvement and collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders at the community level, and that these stakeholders are the real experts on how to end hunger in their communities. When government agencies, healthcare institutions, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, businesses and individuals collaborate through a unified vision, efforts to develop comprehensive, long-term plans to end hunger at the community level can be extremely successful.

Though Hunger Free Community efforts may vary in sophistication or focus on target populations, the most effective efforts begin with a process of coalition building and community assessment, move into a phase of data-driven planning and prioritizing, and result in clear goals and benchmarks to demonstrate progress. The Alliance supports Hunger Free Community coalitions across the country by connecting these coalitions to each other to facilitate shared learning, and by elevating best practices identified by successful HFC coalitions.

One of the key ways in which the Alliance facilitates the work of HFCs is through the annual Hunger Free Communities Summit. This year’s 4th annual HFC Summit will be held on March 1st, 2014 In Washington, D.C. The national summit presents an exciting opportunity for anti-hunger leaders, champions, and newcomers to share knowledge, ideas and best practices on how best to combat hunger across the United States. Through discussion and networking, it is the Alliance’s goal to help anti-hunger practitioners from across the country to strengthen their ability to fight hunger at home through collaborative efforts.

(left to right) Maggie Biscarr (AARP Foundation), Christina Drushel (Maryland Governor’s Office for Children), and Roxana Barillas, (USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships), look on as Summer Gathercole, (Share our Strength), speaks to the audience in a breakout session (Amanda Lucidon/LucidPix)

This year’s event will place a special focus on engaging young people and older adults in the fight against hunger—topics that are becoming increasingly important to local anti-hunger coalitions and many of the Alliance’s member organizations. Panel discussions focused on each of these age groups will explore how to increase involvement with these two constituencies in anti-hunger efforts, and underline the importance of ensuring that all members of local communities have the opportunity to contribute their time and talents.

In addition to these general session discussions, there will be several breakout sessions throughout the day that will focus on a wide range of issues, from the role of faith-based institutions to the potential impact of this year’s upcoming elections. The breakout sessions offer a chance for attendees to focus on the areas of greatest relevance to their own coalition’s work. Experts from a variety of community and national organizations will serve as moderators and panelists for these discussions.

To view the full agenda for the day and to register for the event, please visit the HFC website at http://www.hungerfreecommunities.org/summit/. For any questions regarding Hunger Free Communities or the Summit, please email info@alliancetoendhunger.org.